AgencyUK’s Antibiotic awareness campaign receives national award for its community focus

devon antibiotics
A campaign created by AgencyUK to help tackle antibiotic resistance through educating parents has just received national recognition at the Antibiotic Guardian awards. The award comes as news of a ‘dramatic’ reduction in antibiotic prescription has been announced by the NHS this week.

The news of the reduction follows the campaign which aimed to increase awareness about the effective use and side effects of antibiotics, and provide effective tips for caring for children suffering from some common childhood illnesses.

The Listen to Your Gut campaign, which was co-produced by parents at a North Devon Children’s centre alongside Devon County Council and health partners from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS NEW Devon CCG), won the Community Category at the Antibiotic Guardians awards in Birmingham on Friday 13 May.

AgencyUK undertook the planning and execution of the award winning campaign, involving animation, social media, PPC and display advertising. A microsite was also created to help change the way parents view the role of antibiotics in treating common illnesses such as coughs and colds. Social media messages were used to start conversations about caring for a young child with a viral infection, and provide information on how antibiotics can damage gut flora that supports good health, when not used properly.

The project has been developed to be part of the national Antibiotic Guardian campaign and is now widely used in other parts of England.

Dr Tom Lewis, consultant microbiologist for Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, said: “This campaign is all about raising awareness, so it is fantastic that it has been recognised on a national level.

“There is lots of new research that suggests that losing our healthy bugs can make us more likely to develop a wide range of illnesses, including diabetes. Many people do not realise that taking antibiotics can kill healthy bugs too. This campaign is helping us to get this important message across so that people only use antibiotics when they really need them.”

Devon County Councillor Andrea Davis was also part of the campaign, sporting her ‘gut face’ which formed part of the social media interaction.

“We are very proud of this campaign, because it was the result of genuine collaboration and innovation from all the partners involved. The heart of this work and the driving force behind its success were the Ilfracombe children’s centre and the community of mums, who shaped the campaign and really got behind it.”

The national Antibiotic Guardian campaign is inviting the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations, to all become Antibiotic Guardians by choosing one pledge about how they will make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

For further information go to www.listentoyourgut.org.uk and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36372617